Nirvana was an American rock band formed in Aberdeen, Washington, in 1987. Founded by lead singer and guitarist Kurt Cobain and bassist Krist Novoselic, the band went through a succession of drummers, most notably Chad Channing, and then recruited Dave Grohl in 1990. Nirvana's success popularized alternative rock, and they were often referenced as the figurehead band of Generation X. Their music maintains a popular following and continues to influence modern rock culture.
Michael Joseph Jackson (August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009) was an American singer, songwriter, dancer, and philanthropist. Dubbed the "King of Pop", he is regarded as one of the most significant cultural figures of the 20th century. Over a four-decade career, his contributions to music, dance, and fashion, along with his publicized personal life, made him a global figure in popular culture. Jackson influenced artists across many music genres; through stage and video performances, he popularized complicated dance moves such as the moonwalk, to which he gave the name, as well as the robot. He is the most awarded musician in history.
The eighth child of the Jackson family, Jackson made his public debut in 1964 with his older brothers Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, and Marlon as a member of the Jackson 5 (later known as the Jacksons). Jackson began his solo career in 1971 while at Motown Records. He became a solo star with his 1979 album Off the Wall. His music videos, including those for "Beat It", "Billie Jean", and "Thriller" from his 1982 album Thriller, are credited with breaking racial barriers and transforming the medium into an artform and promotional tool. He helped propel the success of MTV and continued to innovate with videos for the albums Bad (1987), Dangerous (1991), HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book I (1995), and Invincible (2001). Thriller became the best-selling album of all time, while Bad was the first album to produce five US Billboard Hot 100 number-one singles.
Queen are a British rock band formed in London in 1970 by Freddie Mercury (lead vocals, piano), Brian May (guitar, vocals) and Roger Taylor (drums, vocals), later joined by John Deacon (bass). Their earliest works were influenced by progressive rock, hard rock and heavy metal, but the band gradually ventured into more conventional and radio-friendly works by incorporating further styles, such as arena rock and pop rock.
Before forming Queen, May and Taylor had played together in the band Smile. Mercury was a fan of Smile and encouraged them to experiment with more elaborate stage and recording techniques. He joined in 1970 and suggested the name "Queen". Deacon was recruited in February 1971, before the band released their eponymous debut album in 1973. Queen first charted in the UK with their second album, Queen II, in 1974. Sheer Heart Attack later that year and A Night at the Opera in 1975 brought them international success. The latter featured "Bohemian Rhapsody", which stayed at number one in the UK for nine weeks and helped popularise the music video format.
Coldplay are a British rock band formed in London in 1997. They consist of vocalist and pianist Chris Martin, guitarist Jonny Buckland, bassist Guy Berryman, drummer Will Champion and creative director Phil Harvey. They met at University College London and began playing music together from 1997 to 1998, initially calling themselves Starfish.
Led Zeppelin were an English rock band formed in London in 1968. The group comprised vocalist Robert Plant, guitarist Jimmy Page, bassist/keyboardist John Paul Jones, and drummer John Bonham. With a heavy, guitar-driven sound, they are cited as one of the progenitors of hard rock and heavy metal, although their style drew from a variety of influences, including blues and folk music. Led Zeppelin have been credited as significantly impacting the nature of the music industry, particularly in the development of album-oriented rock (AOR) and stadium rock.
Red Hot Chili Peppers are an American rock band formed in Los Angeles in 1982, comprising vocalist Anthony Kiedis, bassist Flea, drummer Chad Smith, and guitarist John Frusciante. Their music incorporates elements of alternative rock, funk, punk rock, hard rock, hip hop, and psychedelic rock. Their eclectic range has influenced genres such as funk metal, rap metal, rap rock, and nu metal. With over 120 million records sold worldwide, Red Hot Chili Peppers are one of the best-selling bands of all time. They hold the records for most number-one singles (14), most cumulative weeks at number one (85) and most top-ten songs (25) on the Billboard Alternative Songs chart. They have won six Grammy Awards, were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012, and in 2022 received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Slipknot is an American heavy metal band formed in Des Moines, Iowa, in 1995 by percussionist Shawn Crahan, drummer Joey Jordison and bassist Paul Gray. After several lineup changes in its early years, the band settled on nine members for more than a decade: Crahan, Jordison, Gray, Craig Jones, Mick Thomson, Corey Taylor, Sid Wilson, Chris Fehn, and Jim Root. Bassist Gray died on May 24, 2010, and was replaced during 2011–2014 by Donnie Steele. Jordison was dismissed from the band on December 12, 2013. Steele left during the recording sessions for .5: The Gray Chapter. The band found replacements in Alessandro Venturella on bass and Jay Weinberg on drums. After the departure of Jordison, as of December 2013 the only founding member in the current lineup is percussionist Crahan. Fehn was also dismissed from the band in March 2019 prior to the writing of We Are Not Your Kind and was replaced by Michael Pfaff.
Gorillaz are an English virtual band formed in 1998 by musician Damon Albarn and artist Jamie Hewlett, from London. The band primarily consists of four fictional members: 2-D, Murdoc Niccals, Noodle, and Russel Hobbs (drums). Their universe is presented in music videos, interviews, comic strips and short cartoons. Gorillaz' music has featured collaborations with a wide range of featured artists, with Albarn as the only permanent musical contributor.
Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta ( (listen) STEF-ən-ee JUR-mə-NOT-ə; born March 28, 1986), known professionally as Lady Gaga, is an American singer, songwriter, and actress. She is known for her image reinventions and musical versatility. Gaga began performing as a teenager, singing at open mic nights and acting in school plays. She studied at Collaborative Arts Project 21, through the New York University Tisch School of the Arts, before dropping out to pursue a career in music. After Def Jam Recordings canceled her contract, she worked as a songwriter for Sony/ATV Music Publishing, where she signed a joint deal with Interscope Records and KonLive Distribution, in 2007. Gaga had her breakthrough the following year with her debut studio album, The Fame, and its chart-topping singles "Just Dance" and "Poker Face". The album was later reissued to include the extended play The Fame Monster (2009), which yielded the successful singles "Bad Romance", "Telephone", and "Alejandro".
Kesha Rose Sebert (; born March 1, 1987), formerly stylized as Ke$ha, is an American singer and songwriter. In 2005, at age 18, Kesha was signed to Kemosabe Records. Her first major success came in early 2009 after she was featured on American rapper Flo Rida's number-one single "Right Round".
Kesha's music and image propelled her to immediate success. She has earned two number-one albums on the US Billboard 200 with Animal (2010) and Rainbow (2017), and the top-ten records Warrior (2012) and High Road (2020). Kesha has attained ten top-ten singles on the US Billboard Hot 100, including "Tik Tok", "Blah Blah Blah", "Your Love Is My Drug", "Take It Off", "Blow", "Die Young", "My First Kiss" with 3OH!3, "We R Who We R", "Right Round" with Flo Rida, and "Timber" with Pitbull. Her 2009 single "Tik Tok" was the best-selling digital single in history, selling over 14 million units internationally, until surpassed in 2011.
Fall Out Boy is an American rock band formed in Wilmette, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago, in 2001. The band consists of lead vocalist and guitarist Patrick Stump, bassist Pete Wentz, drummer Andy Hurley, and guitarist Joe Trohman. The band originated from Chicago's hardcore punk scene and was formed by Wentz and Trohman as a pop-punk side project; Stump joined shortly thereafter. The group went through a succession of drummers before Hurley joined. Their debut album, Take This to Your Grave (2003), became an underground success and helped the band gain a dedicated fanbase through heavy touring. Take This to Your Grave is cited as influential on pop-punk music in the 2000s.
Guns N' Roses is an American hard rock band from Los Angeles, California, formed in 1985. When they signed to Geffen Records in 1986, the band comprised vocalist Axl Rose, lead guitarist Slash, rhythm guitarist Izzy Stradlin, bassist Duff McKagan, and drummer Steven Adler. The current lineup consists of Rose, Slash, McKagan, guitarist Richard Fortus, drummer Frank Ferrer and keyboardists Dizzy Reed and Melissa Reese.
Guns N' Roses' debut album, Appetite for Destruction (1987), reached number one on the Billboard 200 a year after its release, on the strength of the top 10 singles "Welcome to the Jungle", "Paradise City", and "Sweet Child o' Mine", the band's only single to reach number one on the Billboard Hot 100. The album has sold approximately 30 million copies worldwide, including 18 million units in the United States, making it the country's bestselling debut album and eleventh-bestselling album. Their next studio album, G N' R Lies (1988), reached number two on the Billboard 200, sold ten million copies worldwide (including five million in the U.S.), and included the top 5 hit "Patience". Use Your Illusion I and Use Your Illusion II, recorded simultaneously and released in 1991, debuted at number two and number one on the Billboard 200 respectively and have sold a combined 35 million copies worldwide (including 14 million units in the U.S.). The Illusion albums included the lead single "You Could Be Mine", covers of "Live and Let Die" and "Knockin' on Heaven's Door", and a trilogy of ballads ("Don't Cry", "November Rain", and "Estranged"), which featured notably high-budget music videos. The records were supported by the Use Your Illusion Tour, a world tour that lasted from 1991 to 1993. The covers album "The Spaghetti Incident?" (1993) was the last studio album to feature Slash and McKagan before their initial departure.
Arctic Monkeys are an English rock band formed in Sheffield in 2002. The group consists of Alex Turner (lead vocals, guitar, keyboards), Jamie Cook (guitar, keyboards), Nick O'Malley (bass guitar, backing vocals), and Matt Helders (drums, backing vocals). Former band member Andy Nicholson (bass guitar, backing vocals) left the band in 2006 shortly after their debut album was released.
Arctic Monkeys were heralded as one of the first bands to come to public attention via the Internet, with commentators suggesting they represented the possibility of a change in the way in which new bands are promoted and marketed. Their debut album, Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not (2006), became the fastest-selling debut album in UK chart history, and has been hailed as one of the greatest debut albums. It won Best British Album at the 2007 Brit Awards. The band's second album, Favourite Worst Nightmare (2007), was also acclaimed by critics and won Best British Album at the 2008 BRIT Awards. They went on to release Humbug (2009) and Suck It and See (2011).
Justin Drew Bieber is a Canadian singer. Bieber is recognized for his genre-melding musicianship and global influence in modern-day popular music. He was discovered by American record executive Scooter Braun and signed with RBMG Records in 2008, gaining recognition with the release of his debut seven-track EP My World (2009) and soon establishing himself as a teen idol.
Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson, known professionally as Katy Perry, is an American singer, songwriter, and television personality. Known for her influence on modern pop music and her campy style, she has been referred to as the "Queen of Camp" by Vogue. Pursuing a career in gospel music at 16, Perry released her debut album, Katy Hudson, under Red Hill Records in 2001, which was commercially unsuccessful. She moved to Los Angeles at 17 to venture into secular music, and later adopted the stage name "Katy Perry" from her mother's maiden name. She recorded an album while signed to Columbia Records, but was dropped before signing to Capitol Records.
Franz Ferdinand are a Scottish rock band formed in Glasgow in 2002. The band's original line-up was composed of Alex Kapranos, Nick McCarthy, Bob Hardy and Paul Thomson. Julian Corrie and Dino Bardot joined the band in 2017 after McCarthy left during the previous year, and Audrey Tait (drums) joined the band after Thomson left in 2021. The band is one of the more popular post-punk revival bands, garnering multiple UK top 20 hits. They have been nominated for several Grammy Awards and have received two Brit Awards—winning one for Best British Group—as well as one NME Award.
Maroon 5 is an American pop rock band from Los Angeles, California. It currently consists of lead vocalist Adam Levine, keyboardist and rhythm guitarist Jesse Carmichael, lead guitarist James Valentine, drummer Matt Flynn, keyboardist PJ Morton and multi-instrumentalist and bassist Sam Farrar. Original members Levine, Carmichael, bassist Mickey Madden, and drummer Ryan Dusick first came together as Kara's Flowers in 1994, while they were still in high school.
Taylor Alison Swift (born December 13, 1989) is an American singer-songwriter. Her discography spans multiple genres, and her songwriting—often inspired by her personal life—has received critical praise and wide media coverage. Born in West Reading, Pennsylvania, Swift moved to Nashville at age 14 to become a country artist. She signed a songwriting deal with Sony/ATV Music Publishing in 2004 and a recording contract with Big Machine Records in 2005. Her 2006 self-titled debut album made her the first female country singer to write or co-write a U.S. platinum-certified album entirely.
Swift's next albums, Fearless (2008) and Speak Now (2010), explored country pop. The former's "Love Story" and "You Belong with Me" were the first country songs to top the U.S. pop and all-genre airplay charts, respectively. She experimented with rock and electronic styles on Red (2012), which featured her first Billboard Hot 100 number-one song, "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together", and eschewed her country image in her synth-pop album, 1989 (2014), supported by chart-topping songs "Shake It Off", "Blank Space", and "Bad Blood". Media scrutiny inspired the urban-flavored Reputation (2017) and its number-one single "Look What You Made Me Do".
Sia Kate Isobelle Furler is an Australian singer and songwriter. Born and raised in Adelaide, she started her career as a singer in the acid jazz band Crisp in the mid-1990s. When Crisp disbanded in 1997, she released her debut studio album, OnlySee, in Australia. She moved to London and provided vocals for the British duo Zero 7. Sia released her second studio album, Healing Is Difficult, in 2001, and her third, Colour the Small One, in 2004.
Selena Marie Gomez is an American singer, actress, and producer. Gomez began her acting career on the children's television series Barney & Friends (2002–2004). As a teenager, she rose to prominence for starring as Alex Russo on the Disney Channel television series Wizards of Waverly Place (2007–2012). Alongside her television career, Gomez appeared in the films Another Cinderella Story (2008), Wizards of Waverly Place: The Movie (2009), Ramona and Beezus (2010), Monte Carlo (2011), Spring Breakers (2012), Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising (2016), and The Dead Don't Die (2019), and voiced Mavis in the Hotel Transylvania film franchise (2012–2022).